The Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) announced the winner of its Jomo Martin Nkunika Memorial Scholarship for a promising student of polysomnography. One student was selected out of nearly 20 applications. 

Kailey Keech, from North Carolina, is the 2023 recipient of the second annual scholarship; she will receive a $3,000 tuition grant to an approved CAAHEP-accredited PSG program, a CAAHEP-accredited END program with a PSG add on, or a CoARC accredited program with a PSG add on.

“While there were many strong applications, we felt Kailey’s stood out in a number of ways,” says Michelle DiMaria, BS, RRT, RPSGT, chair of the scholarship committee, in a release. “She described her love of interacting one-on-one with patients, her strong desire to help people suffering from the negative effects of poor sleep patterns—such as her father—and her deep interest in pursuing a sleep-related higher education degree.”

Keech says in a release, “A goal of mine has always been to one day be the first person in my family to go to college in hopes of having a career that allows me to interact with new people each day. I plan to pursue my studies at Pitt Community College, where I have spent the last year. During this time, I’ve taken pre-requisite classes for the polysomnography program as well as completed BLS and NA1 courses. Throughout my time in NA clinicals, it became even more evident to me that I belong, and love, being around people.”

The application window was opened from November 1, 2023 through December 1, 2023. The committee reviewed all applications through a carefully crafted rubric to determine the best qualified applicants.

The BRPT scholarship is named in honor of Jomo Martin Nkunika, MSHCA, BS, CCSH, RPSGT. Jomo, a former member of the BRPT Board of Directors, was a strong advocate of sleep education and was the program director and adjunct professor of the sleep medicine technology program at Montgomery College in Maryland. In addition, Jomo was a clinical manager with MedBridge Health at the Frederick Memorial Hospital Advanced Center for Sleep Studies.

Jomo was an integral part of the BRPT Board of Directors from 2016 until 2019 when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Sadly, Jomo lost his battle against ALS in July 2021.